Saturday, October 19, 2013

Los caprichos ("Caprices"), 18th Century

Pretty teacher!

In 1799 Francisco de Goya y Lucientes (1746-1828) published a series of 80 prints called 'Los Caprichos' in which he "exalts the scribble, the puddle, the blot, the smear, the suggestive beauty of the unfinished--and, above all, the primal struggle of light and dark, that flux from which all consciousness of shape is born.” (literal from biographer Robert Hughes).

Goya suffered from what seems to have been a disabling bout of meningitis in 1792 which left him stone deaf for the remainder of his life. The illness, pain and resulting alienation and depression provided him with a unique insight into a nightmare world of torment that he so ably transfers to his prints.

All will fall... Caprice #19

There They Go Plucked. (Caprichos, no. 20 Ya van desplumados.)

Hobgoblins (Caprichos, no 49 Duendecitos)

Goya lived in a time of social upheaval with the French Revolution. This, the religious excesses of the Inquisition, and pain he suffered due to illness were his main influences. He attacks all manner of human superstition, prejudice, hypocrisy and stupidity in his etchings, whilst subtly mocking the church and state for keeping the people in misery and ignorance.

To avoid damage his benefactors (he had strong influences and friends at Royal Court) and to protect himself from the Inquisition, Goya masks his satire with the inclusion of demonic and perverse fantasy figures that defy a single understanding.

Tale Bearers - Blasts of Wind (Caprichos, no 48 Soplones), probably my favourite -with the "here comes the bogey-man"-... I always imagined Goya as the tormented figure below, suffering blasts from outside, these blasts representing the pain...
Nothing could be done about it (going to execution). (Caprichos, no. 24 - No hubo remedio)

Look how solemn they are (Caprichos, no 63 Miren que grabes)

You can´t  (Caprichos, no 42 "Tu que no puedes")

Might the pupil know more (Caprichos, no. 37 "Si sabrá mas el discipulo")

 All references I used on this post:

From the Wesleyan University, my favourite top nº1 is the "here comes the bogey-man", I had some problems to download high res image, so pls follow the link here -click on "zoomable image" and enjoy!!!